Americans went to sleep Tuesday without knowing the winner of the presidential election or whether the Republicans will hold control of the U.S. Senate. Interestingly, FOX News was quicker to call states, such as Arizona to Biden, than MSNBC. Again, Trump outperformed the polls.
Lawrence O’Donnell turned a neat phrase – the blue mirage. The 2020 election was not the predicted blue wave or blue tsunami. Very few states flipped from 2016. Very few people changed their minds. And the country is bitterly split. We’ll see what the balance of the week brings.
At 2:21 a.m. Wednesday, President Trump walked into a press conference at the White House and basically declared victory. “Frankly, we did win this election,” he said. “We want all voting to stop.”
VP Pence stepped up and said, “While all votes are being counted, we will remain vigilant.”
Pence is right. Voting is over, but counting must continue until all properly cast ballots are tallied.
Locally, the big winner was “No” on having the county mayor appoint the law director. “No” got over 80% and even dragged the innocuous amendment 2 down as well.
For the first time, Knox County will send three women to Nashville. State Sen. Becky Massey and Rep. Gloria Johnson were re-elected. Michele Carringer will replace Rep. Bill Dunn from District 16.
Along with Carringer, other newcomers will be Eddie Mannis and Sam McKenzie. Betsy Henderson won election to the school board to fill out the term of Terry Hill, who was elected to Knox County Commission in August. U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett was re-elected and Bill Hagerty was elected to the U.S. Senate.
We saw talented first-time candidates in this election – Elizabeth Rowland, Virginia Couch and Hannah Kirby come to mind. Each should build on the base she laid and stay engaged. Local elections are winnable by those who don’t give up. Talk to people like Gloria Johnson, Carlene Malone, Jennifer Owen – women who have won without establishment support.
Let’s take a deep breath, wait for the final count from Tuesday and then get ready for the city elections of 2021.
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.